Cover Songs, or Songovers?

by guitarkadia on February 2, 2010

in Blog

Nathan’s 10 Cover Songs Better Than The Originals [hat tip to Sandy] got me thinking that the whole cover genre needs a new term:

Songover: 1. when a cover song makes the original sound better than it was. or 2. when a cover song finds the intent of the original writer before being ruined by a performer or a particular genre. (don’t look online for these definitions because I just pulled it out of my ass).

Anyway. I don’t always think that covers make the original sound better or worse. There have been instances where I liked both versions for different reasons. Matt Weddle’s version of ‘Hey Ya’ (#4 on Nathan’s list; above) is a good example. Frente’s ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ and an instrumental remake of ‘Time After Time’ is another (some vids at the end of this post).

You’ll find many song murderer lists such as this from Musicouch. But, it seems, murdering songs (or, in some cases, suffocating your love of music) is the route a lot of young singers are taking on YouTube to find popularity. Just be a hot girl/guy with a guitar and scream your way through a Lady Ga Ga or Rihanna song and, voila! Works for some.

Have you noticed the role of the guitar in successful cover songs? Some of the best/worst covers are just stripped down versions of the original played on a guitar. Perhaps the best way to know if a song has genre bending, face-lifting, songovering potential is to strip it down to a single guitar and see if you can hum, pick, or sing the melody. I won’t argue that it’s true for all of them, but is for most. Check out what people have been asking about.

There’s no way I can list all the cover posts or sites out there, but I’ll try. Feel free to leave a comment with a link to your post or site. There’s a good list of sites on Wikipedia, but I have to single out one of them out: Secondhand Songs: A Cover Songs Database. Advanced search options. Like!

Here’s a few not on that list:

1. Genre Swapping Covers from The Plugg

2. 80s Cover Songs Index by In The 80s.

3. Coverville’s Brian does a podcast on covers and sometimes polls ‘Who Did It Better?’.

4. Hypeful did a series of posts. [no new posts since Nov ’09, tho you’ll find Lucas on Twitter]

An example of Songover: Travis‘s version ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’

Ulli Boegerhausen’s cover of ‘Time After Time’

Frente’s cover of ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ [Angie’s solo now]

SRV’s cover of ‘Superstition’

Johnny Cash’s cover of ‘In My Life’

Gipsy Kings cover of Paul Anka’s (Sinatra) ‘My Way’

What are some of your favorite cover songs?

Horacio Mugg December 24, 2010 at 10:46 am

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